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HMMR Podcast Episode 211: Reactive throws (with René Sack)

It is easy to think about the throwing events as strength events. But in the end, the implement is often not that heavy. The bigger challenge is coordinating the whole body to add speed to the element through elasticity, as well as strength. German national discus coach René Sack joins this week’s podcast to discuss how he thinks about this element of the throw and exchange ideas about how to address it in training. Read more

Understanding and training cocontractions in high intensity movement

Across a range of different high-intensity sports like running, sprinting, changing direction, throwing and kicking, the body creates stability by cocontracting or co-activating muscles that surround joints or regions that are under stress. Cocontraction provides stability to some segments or body regions – so that they can be controlled – whilst others move. Read more

Thinking about strength (part two)

In order to contextualize and better frame strength training, how we define it is very important. My definition is a take-off on the Frans Bosch definition of coordination training with resistance, in my opinion that is not thorough enough. I define strength training as coordination training with appropriate resistance to handle bodyweight, project an implement, resist gravity and optimize ground reaction forces. To better understand and apply this definition demands that we look closely at each element of the definition. Intermuscular coordination is the key to efficient movement and effective force application. Appropriate resistance will incorporate the following: Read more

4 more things I learned from Frans Bosch

Two years ago I compiled list of four key points I learned from Frans Bosch’s work after reading his book Strength Training and Coordination: An Integrative Approach. Since then I’ve had the change to try out some of the concepts in training, talk more with Frans Bosch, and see how John Pryor has implemented the ideas. Therefore I thought it was time to add to that list. Read more

Understanding and implementing hip lock into training

As John Pryor mentioned on this week’s GAINcast, hip lock is one movement attractor emphasized by Frans Bosch that he immediately grabbed on to and saw results from. Look at people experimenting with Bosch’s methods on social media and you’ll likely see a variety of exercises aiming to improve hip lock. The problem is, much of what is going around lacks context and a full understanding of both the function and intent of these exercises. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 173: The limiting factor (with Jérome Simian)

Coaches often focus on what they can add to an athlete, but elite performance is often about removing barriers. If you can remove a limiting factor, you might unlock a new level of performance. This is the approach Jérome Simian used as strength and conditioning coach for the new decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer. On this week’s podcast, Simian explains his approach to analyzing athletes, creating a plan, and improving performance. Read more

GAINcast Episode 132: Learning to control (with John Kiely)

John Kiely has done some groundbreaking work on periodization, but that isn’t the only topic he is interested in. When it comes to his work with rugby, track and field, and soccer he focuses on making an impact through coordination. On this week’s podcast we take a look at the framework he uses to understand coordination, and how that translates into some surprising methods with athletes. Read more

Force summation through medicine ball training

If you listen to our podcast, you’ll know I love training with medicine balls. The reason I like it so much because a good medicine ball throw requires you to recruit and coordinate forces from the entire body. This is also known as the summation of forces: when all body parts act simultaneously in practice, the strongest and lowest body parts around the center of gravity move first, followed by the weaker, lighter, and faster extremities. This is also known as sequential acceleration and results in successive force summation.

» Related content: Watch Nick demonstrate and explain his favorite medicine ball routines in the HMMR Classroom Lesson 5.

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Perils of reductionist thinking

Focusing on muscles and isolated movements is mentally convenient. It is very easy to break the body and movements into parts and separate systems and focus on thus parts to the exclusion of the whole. It may be convenient and easy but is not right, it ultimately leads to confusion. Read more

How to get the most out of medicine balls

This article was originally posted on High Performance West. Jonathan Marcus is building a great platform over there, so check it out

When I was first handed a medicine ball in training, the first thought that came to mind was “the grind.” I had a preconceived notion of the medicine ball as an arcane training tool used exclusively in vintage newsreels of calisthenics. Individuals would pick up a heavy leather ball and grind through exercises with a partner. The public image of medicine balls has change a lot in the decades since, but often the intent in medicine ball training – the grind – remains. That’s unfortunate as it keeps us from getting the most out of a great training tool. Read more